Test run needed for flood defences

A controversial flood warning system should be subject to a test-run in Norfolk in order to boost public confidence in its use, according to councillors.

A controversial flood warning system should be subject to a test-run in Norfolk in order to boost public confidence in its use, according to councillors.

More than 17,000 people in Norfolk are signed up to the Environment Agency's Flood Warning Direct (FWD) system which uses the telephone, text and internet messages to alert people of floods.

But critics believe the system is clumsy and unable to cope with a sudden surge in demand. There have also been complaints about the voice mail message warnings, while many communities would prefer to a modernised flood siren system in place to warn people locally of any dangers.

Yesterday, members of Norfolk County Council's fire and community protection overview scrutiny panel questioned David Kemp, flood incident manager at the Environment Agency, about the system.


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The panel was seeking assurances that FWD could provide efficient and effective warnings, and would not overload as it did previously in 2007.

There were also concerns that many vulnerable and older people found it difficult to use.

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